Chris Rock

Chris Rock first gained attention as a cast member during the early 1990s resurgence of "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ), though he found more lasting success as a stand-up comic, ranking No. 5 on Comedy Central's list of the "100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time." Rock's edgy, brilliant material often dared to take on the African-American establishment, but his critiques of broader American culture and politics proved to have universal appeal. Rock teamed with HBO to produce a number of Emmy Award-nominated stand-up specials, including "Bring the Pain" (1996), and went on to host the similarly Emmy recognized late night talk offering "The Chris Rock Show" (HBO, 1997-2000). Rock brought his acclaimed stage style to hosting duties for the Academy Awards and the Video Music Awards, and added to his reputation as a strong writer by co-creating and producing the Golden Globe-nominated sitcom, "Everybody Hates Chris" (2005-09). Rock also helmed feature films including the White House comedy "Head of State" (2003), the documentary "Good Hair" (2009) and the semi-autobiographical romantic comedy "Top 5" (2014). In addition, film roles ranging from "Nurse Betty" (2000) to family entertainment blockbusters like "Dr. Dolittle" (1998), "Madagascar" (2005) and "Grown Ups" (2010), Grammy-winning comedy albums and a best-selling memoir provided further evidence that Rock was one of the strongest voices in comedy, combining substance and style in ways that appealed to both adults and children alike.